10 Tips for Dealing with Burnout and Panic Attacks

Dealing with intense stress, anxiety, panic attacks is not a healthy or amusing way to live life. If you know what I’m talking about and are looking for some help, consider following some of these tips.

Seek Medical Help

Sometimes, no matter how much you do not want to, medicine is the only way to deal with these issues. The pain will not always pass. Speak to your doctor to find out what can be prescribed.

Counseling and Therapy

Whether or not you realize it, you might need to change your behavior or thoughts to achieve change. Instead of bundling all of those feelings up inside of you, you should get them out and express them. This might be exactly what you need to feel better, and if it’s not, it’s still better for your overall health. If you don’t like the idea of medicine, consider some kind of counseling or therapy.

Try a Journal

Perhaps expressing your deepest emotions with a practical stranger is not for you. However, it’s still worth at least attempting to release those emotions. A journal is a non-confrontational and very private way to do so.

Count to Ten

This method will likely only work if your condition is moderate. When a problem starts to overwhelm you, count to ten, breathe deeply and close your eyes. Once you have reached the number 10, the issue might not seem so bad anymore. This is surprisingly effective for many people.

Return to Faith

Many times, people report that returning to church, temple or another house of worship helps to ease their anxiety. Speaking with God on a daily basis is a major reminder that you are not alone. If nothing else, the community you will find through faith might provide new advice, support or a great sense of belonging, all of which can help.

Meditation and/or Yoga

Perhaps traditional religious practices are not for you, but you can still work on tapping into your spiritual side. When you engage in these two interesting although rather different practices, you’re allowing yourself to channel your spiritual energy and potentially become at peace with the world. They are about letting go of earthly hindrances, and this might be all you need.

Exercise

Although adding something else onto your plate might seem stressful at first, many say that they feel better after exercising. In order to really enjoy the activity, consider signing up for a Zumba or spinning class with some of your friends. It could be an exciting girls night out! If these are too high impact, something like swimming might be a better fit.

Face Your Fears

One of the best ways to stop being afraid of something is to face it. If your panic attacks stem from fear, you should consider doing so. However, you’ll likely want to do so under the supervision of a licensed professional who can help you if anything goes awry.

Resources

You’d be surprised how many resources you have at your tips for dealing with these issues. Are you a student? If so, see if you can meet with a counselor or advisor, who can clue you in on where to go for help. If there’s a human resources department at your workplace, consider speaking with them. If you go to a church, your pastor might be a wealth of information.

Relax

Just being so wound up from a day of work, classes and chores can make the most hardy of us stressed. Take time at the end of each day to watch television, do your nails or take a bubble bath, even if only for 20 minutes. Whatever you need to wind down, go for it.

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Banish Your Blues

By Zita Weber, Ph.D.

Depression – the blues – has many faces, with each person’s depression feeling different.  While depression can’t be categorized into a neat set of signs and symptoms, there are some common features such as:

  • persistent feeling of sadness and emptiness for at least ten days – one or two days of feeling down is not the blues
  • changes in physical well-being, such as upset stomach, headaches, loss of appetite or overeating, disturbed sleeping patterns and loss of interest in sex
  • changes in attitudes and behavior, such as a general slowing down, inability to concentrate, difficulty in making decisions, poor memory and putting things off or unable to do everyday tasks
  • changes in feelings and perceptions, such as feeling hopeless, lowered self-esteem, emotionally flat or empty feeling, nothing seeming worthwhile

When people have the blues, they report to researchers and counselors that they have difficulty in everyday problem-solving.  Life seems full of overwhelming situations and dealing with commonplace problems seems impossible.

Fact file:

Research has found that when you’re depressed, becoming more active and engaging with everyday life is empowering and uplifting.  It helps lift your mood and puts you more in control of your life.

By learning some effective techniques that help you to identify and work through life problems, you’ll feel more empowered and engaged with your life.  You can read about  more strategies, skills and techniques to help you banish your blues in Losing the 21st Century Blues

One effective technique is called ‘structured problem solving’ and this can help you to:

  • recognize the difficulties that have contributed to make you feel overwhelmed
  • make you aware of the resources you have, such as personal strengths and social supports
  • teach you an effective method of dealing with current difficulties

This technique helps you to feel more in control of your current problems and life in general and deal more effectively with issues and problems in the future.

Structured problem solving steps:

Step 1 –  identify the issues and problems that are worrying you and write them down

Step 2 –  work out what options are available to deal with the issues you face and write these down

Step 3 -  list the advantages and disadvantages of each option, taking into account what resources are available to you

Step 4 –  identify the best option/s to deal with the problem

Step 5  –  list the steps required for this option/s to be carried out

Step 6 – carry out the best option and then check if it’s effective

Lastly, but most importantly, share your ideas about problem-solving with a trusted person.  By sharing your ideas, you’ll get support and reassurance and another person’s input about other possibilities and options.  Don’t feel alone – engage in a conversation with another and reap the benefits of sharing ideas and solving everyday problems together.

About the Author:

Zita Weber, Ph.D. is an author and honorary academic, and has worked as a counselor and therapist with individuals, couples and families.  She has researched and written about communication, relationships, sexuality, depression and loss and grief.  More information about her work and books can be found at:  http://zitaweber.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Mind Body Medicine

By Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha

very human being has a soul, mind and body. In the East, people talk about soul. In the West, people talk about spirit. Scientists talk about message. In fact, soul, spirit and message are the same thing.

Modern medicine focuses on matter. Blood tests measure biochemical changes inside the cells. CT scans and MRIs determine whether there are growths inside the body. Surgery removes matter from the body. Medications adjust the matter.

Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is vital energy and life force. The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, the ancient authority book of traditional Chinese medicine, states, “if qi flows, one is healthy. If qi is blocked, one is sick.” Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs, acupuncture and massage to promote the flow of qi for healing.

Several years ago, the Divine guided me to create Soul Mind Body Medicine. From my more than forty years of energy and spiritual study, together with my study of medicine to become an MD and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, I have realized that soul, mind and body can work together. Modern medicine and traditional medicine can work together.

Modern medicine focuses on matter inside the cells. Traditional Chinese medicine and many other healing modalities focus on the energy between cells. Soul Mind Body Medicine focuses on the soul. If a person is sick, the soul is sick.

A soul is a golden light being. Soul is spirit. Soul is message. Soul is the essence of life. Soul is the boss.

Soul Mind Body Medicine states: Heal the soul first; then, healing of the mind and body will follow. Because the soul is the boss, I put the soul first. This is why I use the name Soul Mind Body Medicine. Soul is spirit and message. Mind is consciousness. Body carries energy and matter.

Every human being has a soul, a mind and a body. A bodily system, such as the cardiovascular system or the digestive system, has a soul, mind and body. Every cell and every DNA and RNA has a soul, mind and body.

Everyone and everything has a soul.

Soul Mind Body Medicine states that all sickness is due to soul, mind and body blockages. Soul blockages are due to bad karma. Mind blockages include negative mindsets, attitudes and beliefs, as well as ego and attachment. Body blockages are blockages of energy and matter.

To heal is to remove soul, mind and body blockages. Soul Mind Body Medicine removes soul, mind and body blockages. The techniques are very simple. In fact, they are too simple believe. I ask that you keep an open mind and try them. Join one of the many complimentary programs offered every day and experience Soul Mind Body Medicine.

Dr. and Master Sha is a world-renowned healer, inspired teacher, and Divine Channel. He is a medical doctor in China, a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and Canada and a Grand Master of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Kung Fu, I Ching and Feng Shui. His work is featured in the documentary Soul Masters and the public television program, The Power of Soul. Master Sha is the New York Times best-selling author of the Soul Power Series. Recipient of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame Award for his humanitarian efforts, in January 2011, he founded the global Love, Peace and Harmony Movement with a vision to create love, peace and harmony for humanity and Mother Earth.

Learn more about Dr. Sha, his complimentary Soul Mind Body Medicine programs, or his upcoming live events by visiting www.DrSha.com or www.Facebook.com/ZhiGangSha

Power of Positive Thinking: Why Be Positive?

By Georgiy Onyschuk 

     The power of positive thinking arises from adapting positive psychology into one’s life, i.e. positive thoughts, affirmations, positive words/phrases, and positive quotes.  Once you practice these on a daily basis, throughout the entire day, they will become a habit and your perspective of the world will begin to change for the positive.  How we feel about life depends on where we place our attention, or what we focus upon.

If we focus upon all of the negative aspects of our lives, then we will encourage negative situations to occur in our daily encounters.  In this moment, without moving from where you are, you can find ample evidence to prove your life is a miserable, depressing, terrible burden, or you can find evidence to prove your life is an abundant, joyful, exciting adventure.  Once you let go of the complaining consciousness and look at any given situation with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation, you will begin to see the power of positive thinking.

There are a plethora of reasons to summon the power of positive thinking in you.  So, let’s look at some of the benefits achieved through the invocation of this power of positive thinking:

  1. Stress Reduction- every time we complain about some person or situation, we are inviting negative energy into our lives, and this negativity causes a tremendous amount of stress on our body, mind, and spirit.  Since stress is nourished by negativity, removing negativity is a good way to reduce stress in your life by staying in the positive.  The power of positive thinking helps to combat the negative feelings, thoughts, or emotions that may crop up during daily interactions with people and situations.  Try and remember when you’re in a situation that is causing you to feel anxious, stressful, or fearful, invoke the power of positive thinking by reciting positive affirmations to yourself, or simply change your thought patterns, which will change your outlook and perspective on the situation.

“Attitude is everything. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.” -Unknown

  1. Alleviating Worrisome Thoughts- the habit of worrying seems hard to stop, but with the power of positive thinking, you can alleviate your worrisome thoughts.  Worrying is a natural state for humans, but it is when it’s taken to the extremes and it causes problems in everyday activities or functioning that it becomes a problem.  For example: let’s say you have a family member that does not like the things you have been doing, and you start to worry about what they think about you; it’s ok to be concerned with what they think, but when you begin to obsess about their opinions and lose sleep over it that it becomes a problem.  Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem.  If you use positive self-talk or affirmations internally, you will eventually begin to feel better about the situation.  It’s amazing how changing your internal self-talk will allow you to change the way you think about something.  It can change your perspective of the world and the people around you.

“See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial power and energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” -Ralph Marston

Have you noticed that you tend to feel better when you focus on the positive things in your surroundings?  The process of focusing on the positive to produce more positive feelings works the same with things more intimate than your surroundings-your body, for example.  So, take a look at all that’s right with your body, focus on the positives and use that as food for thought.  You may have a pain in your left foot, but you can think to yourself, “thank God my right foot is pain free.”  There are so many things in our bodies that we take for granted, and anytime we have a slight pain, we start to complain about it.  If we change our thinking and focus on the positive things that are going on in our bodies, then we have invoked the power of positive thinking.  It will change our perspective on things and the pain will have seemed to dissipate or go away totally.

“One should sympathize with the joy, the beauty, the color of life-the less said about life’s sores the better.” -Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

How to Test If You Are Depressed

Depression affects millions of people a year, and all over the world.  As fast as the world moves today, and with the combination of social pressures, work obligations and a busy personal/home life, it’s easy to get stressed out. No matter what stage of life you are in, depression can take over your life and for a number of reasons.   Are you taking care of yourself properly by exercising, eating right and in general living well? Do you skip lunch to work overtime so that your latest project is up to your bosses’ standards, or rely on fast food to compensate for your fast-paced life? There are a number of challenges your life can present you from time to time but the important thing is having the skills to deal with it.

When we struggle to balance our work demands, a healthy lifestyle and social life, we can begin to feel out of balance and out of touch with who we are and what our goals are. And, as different as one person is from another, anxiety can take the form of many symptoms, from physical to social: social withdrawal, compulsive crying, changes in sleep/eating; severe mood disorders such as crying for no reason or being extra sensitive;  changes in the enjoyment you had for daily activities or eating disorders. When depression isn’t properly managed, your depression can run high and in many cases turn worse in the blink of the eye. Whether the solution to your depression is medication, therapy or a combination of the both, there is help and a self-examination could be a great way to start.

Known as the “common cold” of mental health, depression affects many individuals, and can strike at virtually any age. Do you worry about being bi-polar or suffer from postpartum depression? Does schizophrenia run in your family and do you worry that you may suffer from it? Some questions you can begin to ask yourself when assessing whether you need to talk to your doctor or a medical professional are:

  1. Do you have difficulty falling asleep at night?
  2. Do you suffer from nightmares on a regular basis?
  3. Has your experienced a sudden loss in sex?
  4. Have you noticed a change in your eating or sleeping patterns?
  5. Has a immediate family member been diagnosed with depression?
  6. Is it difficult to remember the last time you were happy?

While there are many questions you can ask yourself, these questions pose a starting off point. By determining how satisfied you are with various levels of your life such as your sex life, your career and your relationship, you can begin to determine if the problem is external or internal. There are also some statistics to consider. For example, more women than men are diagnosed with depression across the board. For reasons such as the struggle to balance work and family life, the pressure to be socially and physically of a certain way and the high standards they have been taught to live their life, it is often a setup for disaster. When women feel they don’t meet the standard they can have intense feelings of guilt, shame or loss which often manifests into depression.

On the same note, men get depressed for a number of reasons. Driven by a need to protect and provide, a large part of their confidence and self-worth is wrapped up in their job. When they fail to meet the ever growing demands of their career, this can leave them feeling inadequate and turn into depression. Although more women statistically than men suffer from depression, more men successfully commit suicide because of it. Ask yourself the following:

  1. Have you withdrawn socially lately?
  2. What is your age? Your sex?
  3. Do you have unusual cravings for carbs and sugar?
  4. Do you have a unusual negative frame of mind in which you usually have a positive one?
  5. Do you think obsessively about death and dying?
  6. Do you have trouble at work concentrating or remembering things?

No matter what your age, sex or stage of life you are in, depression can affect you and the life you have worked so hard to built. Take a self-test for depression and get help before it gets worse. Don’t try to help yourself solely but invest in the support of friends, family and the communication so that you can become well, healthy and thrive in the shortest time possible.

 

Combating Depression: See the Signs Early

Understanding depression is no walk in the park. The word is commonly used as short-hand for the feelings of sadness, grief, and regret that are experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. While these stressful times may lead to clinical depression in some people, most are capable of experiencing depression and recovering naturally. The consequences of clinical depression, on the other hand, can be extremely damaging, even life threatening.

Researchers continue to argue over the specific mechanisms that play into the development of clinical depression, including neurochemical imbalances, micro-nutrient deficiencies, lack of social skills, infections, and combinations of these and other factors. Early warning signs and risk factors can help in distinguishing between the common emotion of sadness and clinical depression defined as persistent changes in mood that disrupt an individual’s life.(1)

## Troubles with Spotting Depression

A diagnosis of depression most often occurs between the ages of 24 and 44, though this group is not at a higher risk of the disorder. Depression in young adults and teenagers is often overlooked, with the symptoms being explained away as normal for the age. Those older than 44 face a similar complication, as the symptoms are explained as simply getting older. The difference between clinical depression and the aging process is persistence of symptoms and disruption of activities.

Doctors describe a patient as experience major depressive disorder, if the have at least five of the following symptoms persisting for longer than two weeks.(2)

* Decreased activity or restlessness

* Unexplained changes in appetite or weight

* Feelings of regret, sadness or worthlessness

* Lack of concentration and indecisiveness

* Fatigue

* Disruption of sleeping patterns

* Loss of enjoyment in regular activities, including sex

* Fantasies of committing suicide or otherwise dying

* Self-endangering or reckless behavior

Experiencing less than five of these symptoms for prolonged periods may also be cause for concern. Knowing the risk factors can allow for early treatment and prevent progression of the disorder.

## Contributing Risks

Statistics show that around 25 percent of women and 10 percent of men will experience major depressive disorder at least once.(3) It tends to be more prevalent in families with a history of depression and the first episode most often occurs in the teenage and young adult years. However, these are not strict rules. Some people identify more with friends than family, and having friends with the disorder is a risk factor in these cases. Other risks include:

* Childhood trauma

* Major life changes, such as divorce, death of a loved one or childbirth

* Diagnosis of chronic disease

* Substance abuse or addiction

* Alienation or lack of a dense social network

* Use of certain medications, including blood pressure regulators and sleeping aids

* History of depressive disorder

## Addressing the Problem Early

The experience of specific symptoms and risks is the best way to approach treatment and early prevention. A diagnosis of addiction, for instance, is often linked to emotional disorders, so it will be worthwhile to find a treatment center for addiction that supports dual diagnosis.

A doctor or other healthcare provider can help by eliminating medical causes, such as medications, deficiencies and infections. A counselor or clinical psychiatrist will help in determining the trigger for a current episode and the root cause for susceptibility. While sadness and other negative emotions are a normal part of life, persisting negative emotions are not. Getting help early can prevent complications and prevent future depressive episodes.

Sources:

(1) http://www.medschool.pitt.edu/somsa/Depression.html

(2) http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

(3) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=risk-factors

 

Emotional Release and Healing With the Walking Meditation

By Ilchi Lee

Every person can achieve stress release, life balance, clarity of mind and emotional release in their everyday lives with traditional Korean healing philosophies. Perfect for men and women with demanding schedules, my easy-to-do, back-to-nature meditation can easily fit into your schedule, while inspiring you to take your own “journey of the heart” for emotional and physical wellness. As the founder of Dahn Yoga, with more than 1000 centers worldwide, here is one exercise that will help readers engage with nature though a Walking Meditation:

In our busy lives, it is sometimes hard to find a moment to feel the bottom of our feet. Even when people do have the opportunity to walk, their heads are usually so cluttered in with thoughts that they are not able to pay any attention to their feet. This is why many people no longer feel grounded and have lost interest in the life that the earth cultivates.

First relax the tension in your body and stand up straight. Stand so that it feels like there is no empty space between your feet and the ground. As you stand like this, focusing on the bottom of your feet, you will eventually feel all of your weight on your feet. You can feel your entire body’s weight at the bottom of your feet without any tension in other parts of your body. You will notice the weight of your body being delivered to the ground and the strength of the Earth that supports that weight.

This isn’t merely weight or pressure in the physical sense. It is a real, living sense of life energy. You can feel the vivid feeling of existence, of being alive, as you develop a heart of humble gratitude toward the Earth that nurtures your body and supports your life.

The stronger the feeling is at the bottom of your feet, the stronger the sensation at the crown of your head will be as well. Below you, the land supports you sturdily. Above you, the vast, infinite, empty space is opened for you. Stand with both feet and feel your body, which connects heaven and earth. Below, you can feel your solid legs and lower abdomen filled with abundant energy. Above, you can feel an open heart and a clear, cool head.

Slowly start walking with your senses opened to your body’s sensations and to the life energy in the woods. It is important to concentrate on the sensation of the soles of your feet and to not lose awareness of this sensation. The sun rays, the breeze upon your skin, the smell of the fresh woods, the sound of animals bustling about and birds chirping . . . the sound of your own breath, the sensation of your heartbeat, your skin moist with sweat, the multitude of thoughts running through your head, memories and emotions . . . Continue feeling all of these sensations. Do not try to control or hold onto any of these feelings or thoughts, but rather watch them come if they come and go if they go.

When you continue walking like this, your thoughts and emotions will die away, and you will start to feel that you are connected deeply with the woods. When you do Walking Meditation, it is important to pay attention to the woods as a whole—the flowers, trees, wind, and water. You won’t be able to feel the surrounding nature properly if you are anxious to take notice of something or if you direct all your attention to only yourself. You will feel the energy that is emitted by the entire woodland if you let go of the urge to fixate your eyes and ears on single objects. You will be able to feel the whole of the forest in its entirety, instead of just one flower or tree.

ILCHI LEE is an educator, mentor, and trailblazer who is the developer of many mind-body training methods including Dahn Yoga and Brain Education. He serves as president of the University of Brain Education and the International Brain Education Association. Ilchi Lee is also the founder of Sedona Mago Retreat and the author of thirty-three books, including The Call of Sedona (Best Life Media, $19.95). For more information, visit www.ilchi.com.

Anonymous questions

One of the biggies I got emailed about after publishing the first post last month was whether I’d really anonymize a question if I was asked it.  And the answer is yes, of course.

There’s many reasons that a person might not want their name attached to a question – perhaps they’re at the very beginning of their diagnosis, or if they’re keeping it from family and friends.  Or perhaps they’re asking about family or friend members, who might not be happy about the questions.

Anonymous for a reason

One of the big tenants of how we operate at bi-polarbears is that we’re interested in anonymizing information so that people can relate more to the generalisations that come out of taking personal circumstance out of the equation – more importantly, if we remove the personal connection, it’s often easier for people to connect with the knowledge, rather than their personal circumstance.  Often, especially when overwhelmed people can’t see the small details and those small details are often what makes the difference between suffering and struggling and living, thriving and surviving.

But won’t you know?

Honestly?  I have a memory like a sieve.  So even if I KNEW who asked me a question, I’d probably forget.  One of the few exceptions to this is the few times I’ve had to contact the police or another website authority to ask them to check on someone – but even then, that doesn’t appear on the blog as information.  I would like to emphasize however that if I’m concerned, your first piece of advice will *always* be ‘seek help’ – and on very rare occasions I won’t post on the blog and will simply respond to you in person.

But the main thing is, you’ll always retain anonymity, unless you specifically ask me to post an identifying piece of information, such as a charity fundraising link or other way that people could, potentially work out whether you’ve asked a question.

So, I’d love to hear your questions.  You can email me them at kaisbloggingnetwork@gmail.com if you don’t want to comment anonymously, but commenting is safe here.  So have at it!

What we are – and what we’re not….

I thought I’d take a second to say hi, and give a couple of ideas of what we can and can’t cover.

My name is D Kai Wilson-Viola, and I’m the owner of Bi-polarbears – I’m also the author of Pictures in the Dark: A Guide to Good Mental Health, which is about to be released in it’s second edition.  I’ve been formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder for almost ten years now, (I’m 32 this November) and have made a point of learning everything I can about bipolar disorder.  I’ve spent a vast amount of time unmedicated, but recently moved onto medication, so understand both sides of the fence.  I’m a mental health advocate for bi-polarbears and have been studying Creative Writing and Psychology for the last three four years.  I actually like keeping up with the newest case studies, because it helps me stay informed, and make the best descisions about my wellbeing.  I live with a very supportive man, who understands that my personality comes, in part, from how I handle my various diagnoses.  I’m not saying I’m a different person in spite of or because of bipolar disorder, but I do embrace it rather than fight it most of the time.  I have two children, one of whom has what they’re currently labelling as Attachment disorder.  I’m not convinced, but it’s in her best interests to work with the therapist, so we are.

I’m a full time writer, full time student, full time mom, photographer, artist, knitter, social networking and coding daemon, and there’s never a dull moment in our house, which is mostly, just the way I like it!

Like Bi-polarbears, I thought it might be good to lay out a couple of things that we can and can’t answer.

  • I will ask you to contact your mental health provider or GP if you are undiagnosed – I cannot diagnose you, nor a loved one.
  • I will ask you to contact your mental health provider or GP if you’re experiencing suicidial thoughts or side effects on meds.
  • I can’t give you advice on specific diagnosis – but I can give you resources.
  • I won’t repeat anything said in confidence and can ‘anonymise’ on request.

If in doubt, I can give information and advice on mental wellness, medication (in general terms), and living, thriving and surviving with a mental health diagnosis.  I can also discuss carer options, and how to handle new diagnosis, and moving through the various systems that exsist to support those with mental health.  And if there are no questions, I can share a round up of the latest news and views in the community, social networking opportunities and other places you can go to for help.

I really look forward to answering your questions!

Kai